12/06/2017 11:31 BST

Fraser Nelson, Spectator Editor, Says Poor Did Better Under Austerity Than Anyone Else

'What planet is he living on?'

Fraser Nelson has come under fire for suggesting that austerity was in fact good for poorer people.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the editor of the Spectator magazine, responded to former chief secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne’s views on austerity.

Byrne said: “We’ve now got this country where big companies are sitting on cash and people are sleeping on the streets.

“That’s what was rejected at this election, people want a much more prudent mix of public investment, fair tax rises and some common sense on spending savings.”

Fraser Nelson said that the poor did better than anyone else under austerity

But Nelson claimed that was just one way of looking at the situation.

He said: “The economy is at a record high, the number of people in work is at a record high. Over the last six years of so-called austerity, the poorest did better than anybody else when you look at whose income went up and whose incomes went down.

“So the idea that getting the government to live within its means somehow completely disfigures the economy has been disproved by the evidence of the last six years.

“Britain would not be the employment sweet stop of Europe if everything Liam was saying was true.”

But many on social media expressed their incredulity at his comments: